Yoruba stakeholders to engage presidential candidates


From Oluseye Ojo, IbadanYoruba elders have said they are fully aligned with the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission on its plans to parley with the presidential candidates of major political parties next month in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.Secretary-General, Yoruba Council of Elders, Dr Kunle Olajide, who made this known during a telephone interview with Saturday Sun, said Yoruba elders had plans to host major presidential candidates to know what they have for the country and for Yorubaland.He said it was very crucial for the major presidential candidates to meet critical stakeholders in Yorubaland collectively, just like they met with other strategic stakeholders in some other parts of the country. But Olajide said there was no need for Yoruba elders to organise a separate interactive session with the candidates since the DAWN Commission was putting one together.“The DAWN Commission is a recognised body. Since the commission is organising one, there is no need for duplication. There is no need to put unnecessary pressure on the presidential candidates. The one being put together by the DAWN Commission, I think, will suffice. The commission should ensure other stakeholders like YCE, Afenifere and others are part of the interactive session.”The DAWN Commission is the technocratic institution for the sustainable development of South West region of Nigeria.The idea of the public interactive session with the presidential candidates, it was gathered, was informed by the need to allow the candidates’ engage with critical segments of the South West public on their agenda, plans and programmes. The Director-General of Dawn Commission, Mr Seye Oyeleye, had noted that it was imperative for the major presidential candidates to address Yoruba stakeholders and also entertain questions from them because of the strategic position of the Yoruba in Nigeria.His words: “With a population of about 50 million, its historical trajectory as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, strategic importance and huge potential for national growth and development, DAWN is inviting the presidential candidates to outlay how they intend to incorporate South West in their agenda for a united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria with specific attention to the region’s peculiarities.“DAWN is further moved by the need to prevent the seeming uncertainties in the Nigerian political environment as well as the constant proclivities of political changes, both within the region and the country in general, from getting in the way of sustainable development.“The strategic intent is to get and dissect the agenda of the candidates, and looking towards a cohesive, coherent and balanced approach to fast-track the development of Nigeria as a strategic nation state for the development of the African continent.“It will also be an opportunity for the candidates to articulate their plans in the face of the clamour by the people of the South West of Nigeria for an unhindered and unconstrained socio-economic development.”

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